One of the most exciting things about 3D printing is that it allows a whole host of new business models that were previously pipe dreams. This goes for makers-turned-manufacturers and hobbyists-turned-business leader. MakieLab have proved to themselves, and everyone else, that there is confidence in these new business models by raising an exciting $1.4 million in seed funding for its 3D printed action dolls, or MAKIES.
Leading the march into the brave new world is MakieLab's founder and CEO, Alice Taylor. A self confessed uber gamer, tech-head and all round super geek, Alice is blending gaming and toys in the digital and physical worlds to create a unique creative ecosystem.
MAKIES are fully customisable and are user-designed, before being 3D printed in to physical form. Alice Taylor explained: "We’ve seen amazing levels of creativity from our customers since letting the first few in during open alpha just a few weeks ago”, says Alice Taylor, founder and CEO of MakieLab. “We’re now hard at work to enable further customization of MAKIES, more creativity, and to expand to include digital and physical gaming.”
The money will be used to build some MAKIES, develop something for the little 'uns and generally think up cool stuff to do in the physical and digital gaming world(s).
The company's full release is below:
Smart toys company MakieLab announces the open alpha launch of MAKIES, the first ever user-designed, 3D-printed action doll. On http://makie.me customers are designing and sharing digital avatars that are brought to life via 3D-printshops across London.
“We’ve seen amazing levels of creativity from our customers since letting the first few in during open alpha just a few weeks ago”, says Alice Taylor, founder and CEO of MakieLab. “We’re now hard at work to enable further customization of MAKIES, more creativity, and to expand to include digital and physical gaming.”
Together with the launch, MakieLab announce their seed round investment of $1.4 million. The round is led by early-stage investors Lifeline Ventures and Sunstone Capital and is joined by Anime and gaming industry veterans Matthew Wiggins, Daniel James and Cedric Littardi of superangel-fund Ynnis Ventures.
“The toys industry is ripe for disruption and 3D printing opens up for a powerful blend of digital and physical. We’re thrilled to support Alice, Jo, Sulka, Luke and team in London and Helsinki in their venture to define a new toys company,” says Petteri Koponen, Partner at Lifeline Ventures.
“MAKIES are great proof of how 3D printing will impact our everyday life in so many subtle ways. My daughter is already saving her pocket money for a MAKIE and for her and her peers this physical customization will be the norm,” adds Nikolaj Nyholm, Partner at Sunstone Capital.
MakieLab joins the ranks of culturally influential companies in the portfolio of Lifeline Ventures and Sunstone Capital – including Tinkercad, Supercell, Prezi, Gidsy, Layar and Applifier.